Over the past years

Over the past years, there has been a significant decline in the ILO standard-setting. In the first two decades, an average of 3 conventions were adopted every year and in 1946-66, an average of 2.6 per year. In the next two decades, the rate was 1.6 year and in 1987-96, just 1.9 per year. From 1997-2004, only 5 conventions have been ratified and none in 1998, 2002 and 2004. Many argue that the reason for this decline is the ‘overproduction’ of ILO instruments. Cordova calculated that in 1990, there were over 2,100 substantive labour standards in the then 170 conventions in addition to 2,500 guidelines in the 180 conventions. The whole body had around 10,000 sections. He concluded that ‘not even in the most regulatory-prone countries is it possible to find such an extensive number of norms’ (Hepple, B., 2005). The system of reporting and supervision deals with both the legislative compliance with instruments as well as with their implementation in practice. Some countries believe that they are unfairly targeted by harsh criticism by ILO and the western ideas and values are applied or feel that there should be flexibility and considerate of the obstruction to strict traditional values (Servais, 2005). Some argue that any artificial attempts to raise the standards such as those contained in the international labour law, are bound to fail, and eventually deform the functioning of the labour market and thus be counter-productive. If any sanctions flowing from claim upon labour standards would be a violation of rights, property and contract and thus should be avoided (Yoon, Y. And McGee, R. W., 2003). Some critics say that the core labour standard track is complimentary to the standard track and in no way seeks to undermine it. Legislative approaches, such as those in the traditional labour standards regime are unworkable in most developing countries. The old standard regime was a failure and the new approach is the best alternative to offer. And it is too early to judge the new regime a failure. These responses come from different sources (Alston, P., 2004)

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